Buying and preserving a historic home can be an exciting and rewarding endeavor. Though some historic homes are as new as 100 years old, others date back to the 1600s, giving you the opportunity to not only to preserve history, but to live it. That said, historic home remodeling is not for the faint of heart. Though rich in character, historic homes are often riddled with costly and dangerous issues, many of which most people don’t have the time, money or inclination to deal with. If you have your eye on a historic home, there are a few things you need to carefully consider before you make an offer. Below are the top three.
Preserving Historic Homes Is Costly
Though there are several programs that offer financial assistance to individuals willing to restore historic homes, the grants available to you will barely scratch the surface of what needs to be done. After touring the home and reviewing the inspection report, carefully go over your finances to see how far you’re able to go to bring the home up to code. If you can’t afford major repairs, such as a new foundation or full electrical, the home is probably not right for you. Be honest with yourself, as you don’t want to be stuck with a home you can’t sell via traditional funding once the money runs out.
Historic Homes Are Often Unlivable
Most historic homes lack the comforts and amenities you would need to live safely. Because of this, you will need to factor in rent, a second mortgage or the cost of a hotel room into your budget.
Historic Homes Do Come With Some Financial Advantages
Historic home remodeling does come with a few financial advantages, some of which may offset the cost of bringing the home up to code. For instance, the home may qualify you for the FHA Streamlined 203(k) Limited Repair Program, which grants you an additional $35,000 to use toward repairs and home improvement. You may also qualify for a tax credit, though you will have to refer to state law to see how much you can recoup each year.
Buying, restoring and preserving a historic home is not for everyone. However, if you can make it happen, know that the benefits are well worth your time and monetary investment.